Working with a poly finish

grausch

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Hi,

I have a PRS SE where I am considering replacing the output jack assembly with as US assembly. The regular plate has an oval shape whereas the US plate has a square shape which means that the old holes would still be visible.

There are two issues I would like to address and would appreciate some input on, namely:
  1. I plan on filling the old screw holes with a dowel. The dowel's head will be painted a similar colour as the finish (black cherry). Once painted, I plan to get these into the old holes leaving about 1 cm of space. Space will be filled with superglue. Thereafter, I plan on wet-sanding with micromesh to hide the dowel and superglue filler as much as possible. I have only seen Youtube videos on this before - will my plan work and are there any specific suggestions anyone has that have helped them?
  2. Drilling new holes into the poly finish for the new jack plate screws. Any specific method I should use when drilling the holes? The guitar will be well secured, but I would need to drill by hand. The reason I am asking is that the finish around the tuner screws was quite badly cracked from the factory and obviously I wish to avoid messing up the finish on an area that will be visible.
Lastly, I could probably leave the old screw holes exposed, but I would like to learn how to work a relatively easy repair before I try and repair the damage to the finish at the tuners.
 

Plan Zero

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Check out the explorer plate on mine, another option:
20180119_170011.jpg
Only two holes line up at a time so for now the two screws are holding it very tight. I'll eventually drill the proper holes.
 

DrBGood

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1cm deep dowel hole to fill and 46cm long plate. I hope you mean millimeters, not centimeters.

But first, why do you want to change the original plate ?

If you go the dowel route, nail polish would be my first idea to cover the dowel end. But to do this, you have to step on your pride to go at your local beauty store to browse the nail polish stock with guitar in hand, to get the right color. But it's feasable, I've done it.

OK, I didn't bring my guitar since it was black ...

As for drilling, if your drill bit is fairly new and you don't put too much pressure doing it, it shouldn't crack the finish.
 

grausch

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Haha, yes you are right. mm and not cm.

The standard jack plate works quite well, but the USA ones just feel a lot more solid. Since I wish to install a push-pull pot and new pickups, I thought I might as well change out the assembly at the same time.

Good idea regarding the nail polish. The wife should have some that match closely enough for my purposes.
 

Raiyn

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Haha, yes you are right. mm and not cm.

The standard jack plate works quite well, but the USA ones just feel a lot more solid. Since I wish to install a push-pull pot and new pickups, I thought I might as well change out the assembly at the same time.

Good idea regarding the nail polish. The wife should have some that match closely enough for my purposes.
Why change the plate, when the jack can be changed? It's not like PRS welds them to the plates.
 

cerebral gasket

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I had a PRS SE One for a brief period of time but cannot remember any issues with the jack or if the plate was very thin and wobbled because it was attached with only two screws.

Are you using a right angle plug from instrument cable connected to output jack to reduce stress?
 

grausch

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Hi, nothing is wrong with the jack plate. I just think it would be an easy (and not so visible) place to try and see if I can hide damage to a poly finish. While it is not a cheap change, it is still cheaper than a night out and I can learn a new skill.

I have already replaced the output jack with a Full Tone jack and I had another SE with a Switchcraft jack. Plugging into either my SG or the USA PRS just elicits a solid thunk that sets the strings ringing and makes me feel like a middle-aged rock god. The changed jacks do not do the same with the SE, so I am assuming it is down to the jack plate / assembly.

Regarding the push/pull pot dimensions, the guitar is a Bernie Marsden which is very thick, so most of them should fit without issue.
 

DrBGood

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Got it on jack plate makes sense now.
Dunno about that. The tightest and most thunkable jack I have on all my guitars is on my G400 SG and it's mounted on wood, no resonant heavy duty plate there. I sometimes have to use two hands to pull the cable out, when the guitar is hanging on its hook.
 

cerebral gasket

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Dunno about that. The tightest and most thunkable jack I have on all my guitars is on my G400 SG and it's mounted on wood, no resonant heavy duty plate there. I sometimes have to use two hands to pull the cable out, when the guitar is hanging on its hook.

I dunno either. Just going with the flow.
 

Raiyn

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Hi, nothing is wrong with the jack plate. I just think it would be an easy (and not so visible) place to try and see if I can hide damage to a poly finish. While it is not a cheap change, it is still cheaper than a night out and I can learn a new skill.
So it's a matter of "fixing" what isn't broken. Gotcha.
A word of advice, pick something you're not attached to to attempt this "repair".
I have already replaced the output jack with a Full Tone jack and I had another SE with a Switchcraft jack. Plugging into either my SG or the USA PRS just elicits a solid thunk that sets the strings ringing and makes me feel like a middle-aged rock god. The changed jacks do not do the same with the SE, so I am assuming it is down to the jack plate / assembly.
:facepalm: The Pure Tone Jack should be fine, I presume it's firmly tightened on the plate? Are the plate screws nice and snug? If not, do the Titebond & Toothpick repair. There should be no reason for this "repair" that isn't.
 

grausch

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Let's just take a step back for a minute here...

I wish to change out an output jack for one that I prefer the feel of. How is this different to someone changing pickups, tuners or other hardware? Heck, I am even still considering having a guitar with perfectly good fretwire refretted to a different type just because it makes a big difference to me. In any event, wasn't there an unwritten rule that anyone using a Pure Tone jack is not allowed to criticize the hair-brained upgrade schemes of other members? :rolleyes:

The method used to repair the finish holes would be this -

Based on the video I would struggle to tell that there was a touch-up job, but on some other forums I have seen evidence of lines where the fills are made even after wet-sanding and buffing. I was merely hoping that someone on this forum would have experience doing that type of work. If they are willing to share some of their experience then I might avoid some pitfalls and not have to end up redoing my work.

I could of course get a Gotoh jack that fits. It would be a lot cheaper, it would probably accomplish the same goal, and I would run very little risk of damaging the finish. However, what is the fun in that? It would also be good for me to step outside of my comfort zone...
 

Raiyn

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et's just take a step back for a minute here...

I wish to change out an output jack for one that I prefer the feel of.
I understand changing the JACK, it's changing the PLATE and all of the extraneous "repairs" involved that I find myself not understanding. They don't weld the jack to the plate, you can swap them separately.
How is this different to someone changing pickups, tuners or other hardware? Heck, I am even still considering having a guitar with perfectly good fretwire refretted to a different type just because it makes a big difference to me.
Those usually don't involve having to make unnecessary finish repairs (tuners being a possible exception).
 


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